The digital age has brought about a global pattern shift in how we communicate, interact and organise our world. Everyday life generates colossal quantities of digital data that, once created, is scrutinsed by complex forms of analysis using algorithms, artificial intelligence and other digital tools. This in turn yields highly personalised insights about ourselves, our habits, desires and role in society.
Our project explores the challenges and opportunities that big data and artificial intelligence are bringing to human rights. We are researching whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be adapted to comply horizontally in the era of technological advancement and big data.
We plan to develop good practice guidelines, regulatory responses and solutions for the human rights sector to improve both enjoyment and protection in the digital age. Our key engagements fall mainly but not entirely into the categories: businesses, international human rights and humanitarian institutions and non-governmental human rights.
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The main questions we will answer are:
How long will the project run for? Beginning in October 2015, the project will run until September 2020. It is funded by a £5 million grant from the Economic and Social Research Council and £1 million from the University of Essex.
The project is housed within the Human Rights Centre, with multidisciplinary partners worldwide specialising in computer science, sociology, economy, law, philosophy, political science and sociology.